Fairmead School

Making memories

Free School Meals and Universal Infant Free School Meals


Every infant child in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 is entitled to have a free meal at school.  The Government has made this decision because a good lunch makes an enormous difference to children’s health, development and ability to learn.   It is also important that children develop good healthy eating habits to combat the rising problem of childhood obesity.  If you would like your child or children to receive a free meal at school, you must inform the school and complete the necessary form.  


Children who attend a Somerset County Council school, whose parents or carers receive certain benefits may be entitled to free school meals.

It is the responsibility of the parents or carers to register their entitlement and request that free school meals are provided for their children.

Free school meals are available to children whose parents qualify by meeting the criteria below. Children must be in school all day and they will be provided with a meal at lunchtime which is paid for by the school.

Children in pre-school or nursery (known as childcare providers) do not qualify for a free meal until they start school, but applications can be processed so that when your child starts school, you will already be notified whether they qualify for a free school meal or not.  

Parents and carers who receive any of the following are entitled to free school meals:

  • Universal Credit with an annual household income of less than £7,400 after tax
  • Income Support (IS) 
  • Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related) - not Contribution related 
  • Income-based Job Seekers Allowance (IBJSA) - not Contribution based 
  • Guaranteed Element of State Pension Credit. 
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 
  • Child Tax Credit with an annual taxable income (as assessed by HMRC) of less than £16,190 as long as the family are not also in receipt of Working Tax Credit.  

If you have recently become unemployed, but are still receiving Working Tax Credits, you may be entitled to free school meals. Please phone us on 0300 123 2224 for advice.

Only the benefits listed above qualify for free school meals. No other benefit entitles parents or carers to free school meals for their children.



  1. Please fill in the online form, click here to access the form or contact the school for a paper copy of the application form, or contact the FSM team on 0300 123 2224 to ask for an application form.
  2. If you are filling in a paper form, take the completed form to your child's school, or send it to - Entitlements Team, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY.  

You do not need to send evidence with this application. If  the County Council need evidence at a later date they will contact you.

They will enter your details into a system which will inform them whether you are entitled or not. They will tell you the outcome, usually within 5 to 10 working days of getting the application. If you are eligible, they will tell you how to start receiving free school meals.

If your child is entitled to a free school meal, but requires a special medical diet, the school can arrange for an appropriate meal to be provided. You will need to ask your doctor to write a letter explaining which foods must be avoided.